It’s Here! The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series 2 Complete

Life Lessons Cover SFWP2

Life couldn’t be better. Heather dreamed of being a nurse for years, a goal that motivated her through years of study. Now she’s a dedicated obstetrics nurse, dating the most eligible bachelor at Northwest. Heather is enjoying making new friends, learning new skills, and building her career. She’s also enjoying spending time with Jonathan. Her relationship with her mother is better than it’s been for years, although Christmas is a bit awkward. Heather’s dream world suddenly turns into a nightmare when she’s instructed to do something that goes against everything she believes. Will she remain true to her morals? Or will she sacrifice everything she thinks she believes to keep her dreams intact?

The San Francisco Wedding Planner Complete Series II CoverThe author team of “The San Francisco Wedding Planner”, Jen Cudmore, Ruth L. Snyder, Patti J. Smith, Sheila Seiler Lagrand, and Mishael Austin Witty, thought it would be fun to highlight the main characters from the series and tell a little piece of their backstory.
Each story in Series II focuses on a different character: Bryan Tate, MD, Gloria, Indigo, Skye, and Heather.
The time frames of each story vary from the day, the week, the month before we meet the characters in “Volume 1- The Initial Consultation”.
Sit back, relax, have some fun, and get to know the cast and crew of “The San Francisco Wedding Planner” series a little bit better.
If you want to know more about the authors in the series please visit them at:

Available from or

You must be rich: Common misconceptions about authors

Shadows and Sunshine Newsclip

Last week at a family reunion, someone asked, “Are you rich now that you’re a famous author?” I laughed and answered his questions. Since then I’ve been thinking more about the question and how I would answer if asked again.

Yes, I’m rich:

Am I making hundreds or thousands of dollars from book sales? NO

Here are some facts about authors that may surprise you:

  • Many authors lose money or barely recover what it costs them to get a book published and distributed
  • Most authors have a “day job” because they don’t make enough from their writing to live on
  • Writing a book is the “easy” part. It’s a challenge to get books published, marketed, and sold

Authors wouldn’t bother to write if money was their only objective. There are many other ways to make money that are easier, faster, and more predictable. Authors write because:

  • It’s something they have to do, almost a compulsion
  • They enjoy the process of writing – it’s therapeutic for them
  • Writing enriches the author and those who read
  • Writing is art
  • Many writers see what they do as a ministry

I’m thankful I have the opportunity to be an author, but not for the reasons many people may think. Are you suprised?

Name the Novel contest

Farm scene with tractor, hay, and sheds

My current work-in-progress is a historical fiction novel with elements of romance and mystery. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Twenty-two-year-old OLGA TYMCHUK, a newly graduated teacher, looks forward to marrying her fiancée, VIKTOR in July 1959. However, before they marry, Olga is committed to teaching for a year in Gillmore, Alberta as a requirement for the bursary she received in university. Viktor and Olga are separated when Viktor accepts a challenging job as a scientific researcher for the National Research Council in Ontario.

Olga feels deserted when Viktor leaves for Ontario. He promises to write often and gives her a ticket so she can visit him at Christmas time, but Olga feels like she’s losing Viktor. Olga still needs to work through the loss of her father, who died in a tragic tractor accident when she was fourteen. Olga’s afraid she’s going to lose Viktor just like she lost her dad. She’s still angry with God over her father’s death and doesn’t know what she’ll do if Viktor is taken from her too.

Teaching is more of a challenge than Olga thought. Although Olga misses Viktor, her work keeps her motivated. Olga develops a strong relationship with many of the students in her class. However, one student, little JIMMY, seems determined to cause trouble no matter what Olga does to reach out to him. Olga discovers sometimes her students teach her more than she teaches them.

A week before Christmas, Olga and her brother, STEFAN, use the tickets Viktor provides and take the train to Ontario, their first trip outside Alberta. When Olga tries to contact Viktor, she discovers he has been involved in a serious accident at his workplace. Olga and Stefan spend most of Christmas vacation at the hospital visiting Viktor. Olga and Viktor have time to talk through many issues and discuss wedding plans. Although Viktor received severe burns, his body is healing well. Olga and Stefan say goodbye to Viktor and return to Gillmore.

The train arrives back in Gillmore and Olga is handed a telegram which contains information that turns her world upside down and sends her on a quest for truth about what happened. In the process she discovers many things about herself, God, and true love.

My working title for this novel is Olga’s Discovery. The publisher I’m working with has indicated I need to come up with a more captivating title. Some other options that have been suggested are: Enduring Love, This Fierce Love, Unending Love, Undying Love, When Love Abides, All My Love Olga, Forever My Love, and Love That Won’t Let Go.

Please help me name my novel by commenting with your choice of title. If you have an original title idea, share it. I’ll send everyone who participates by August 31, 2014 a free electronic version of the first chapter. If your title choice is used by the publisher, I’ll send you a free autographed paperback copy of my novel when it’s published (hopefully in 2015). I look forward to your feedback 🙂



Book Signing information from Heaven Sent

New Paperback and July 30 Book Signing


The author team of “The San Francisco Wedding Planner” will be releasing the “Complete Series” ebook & paperback this Thursday evening!
Who is on the author team? Jen Cudmore,Patti J. Smith, Mishael Austin Witty, Sheila Seiler Lagrand,and Ruth L. Snyder!
Heather Donovan has no time for her own romance—she’s busy making wedding dreams come true for other people and trying to reel her lonely and lovesick widowed mom Gloria back from beyond the brink of good taste. Her receptionist, Raul, is as interested in his hair style as he is in the clients. Indigo, the wedding photographer, never goes anywhere without his beret—or his attitude. Toss in Skye, the mommy-track best friend who wants to breathe organic air, Mario, the talented, hotheaded caterer with an eye for the ladies, and a tall, dark, and handsome stranger visiting the office on the eve of the busiest weekend ever, and you have a recipe for disaster. Or love. Or maybe both? Along the way discover how duck-hunter ice sculptures end up as rehearsal dinner décor at an upscale hotel, why the young doctor has a broken heart, and whose will prevails when the photographer challenges a young couple’s vision of the perfect wedding.


On July 30th I’ll be at Heaven Sent in St. Paul from noon to 4 pm to meet you and sign copies of the books to which I’ve contributed. Copies of Rise, The Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas, and The San Francisco Wedding Planner will be available for purchase at special prices. I look forward to seeing you there!

Summer Reading Blog Tour

Introducing Heather Donovan from the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series

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On July 2nd Shadows and Sunshine, volume 6 in the San Francisco Wedding planner Series was released on Amazon. Today I’d like to introduce you to Heather Donovan, the main character in the series.

What is your name?  Heather Marie Donovan
What one word best describes you?  Some people call me creative, talented, stubborn. I would use the word persistent.

How did you first become involved in the story?  Since I’m the main character, this is my story, but I’ve built a team around me that helps me succeed.

What worries you? Several things, actually—I’m a bit of a worry wart 🙂 I worry about my business failing, about losing people close to me (I lost my dad when I was a teenager), and about being single the rest of my life.

What’s your favourite song?  What a feeling by Irene Cara
What’s your favourite food?  You mean besides chocolate and comfort food? Lol  I enjoy all kinds of food, but Mario’s Cotoletta Alla Milanese is my absolute favorite. (If you want to prepare your own, check out the video below.)

What do you think of the other characters?

  • Skye is my BFF, so of course I think she’s wonderful. We are opposites in many ways. She’s an absolute health nut who insists on organic food with lots of fruit and vegetables. You already know what I like to eat.
  • Gloria is my mother. She and I have a love/hate relationship. Her choices frustrate me. I mean come on, she’s supposed to be the mature adult leading the way. Unfortunately, when my father died suddenly my mother seemed to lose her moorings. Now she works as a real estate agent, which has been helpful for me lately. However, her flirtatious behavior is annoying and embarrassing, especially when she hits on MY dates.
  • Raul is my diva admin. assistant who answers the phones and keeps us all organized. (He also likes to dish out advice on fashion, which I usually ignore.) Although he can be very annoying sometimes, he actually is very responsible. In fact, he’s helped me out of a scrape or two.
  • Bryan is an orthopedic surgeon and Raul’s older half-brother—the tall, dark, and handsome one. He knows how to make me feel special and can be very funny, but sometimes I wonder if he’s ready for a serious relationship. Baggage from his past relationships seems to come between us fairly often.
  • Indigo is one of the best photographers in San Francisco. I count it a privilege to have him on my team, but he also causes me the most trouble. You see, I have to handle his ego with kid gloves. He often complains no one understands his art.
  • Mario is a chef extraordinaire, and has been a great addition to my team. He also tends to be a bit of a lady’s man, but a recent love interest is taming him. Mario is one of those people who is everyone’s friend. I don’t think he knows what the word enemy means.

What do you think should happen?  I think me and my team should provide the best event experience for everyone in San Francisco. The Pendergast event is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our skills. If we can pull this off, the sky’s the limit.

I also think that Bryan and I belong together, but I despair that will ever happen. We’re both extremely busy and he seems to have a lot of baggage from past relationships.
Are you happy right now?  Most days, yes. But sometimes I dream about what my life will be like when (I guess I should say IF?) I marry Bryan.
What do you hope to do with your life?  I hope I will be successful in my business and be surrounded with good friends

DRAW for free e-book:  Leave a comment below and your name will be entered to win a copy of volume one of the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series 🙂

Rafflecopter contest: For your chance to win a copy of the whole San Francisco Wedding Planner series, enter at the right.

Want to read more about Heather? My novella, Life Lessons, is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 24th. Stay tuned for more details. In the mean time, check out some other suggestions for your summer reading list by following the Summer Reading Blog Tour:

Summer Reading Blog Tour


Shadows and Sunshine cover

News Release: Ruth L. Snyder, Canadian Author, hits #1 on’s hot new release list

Ruth L. SnyderRuth L. Snyder, an author from Glendon, Alberta, hit #1 on’s Hot New Release list in the Christian romance category with her second novella, Shadows and Sunshine, which was released on July 2, 2014. The story is the entertaining conclusion to the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series. This series takes readers on many interesting twists and turns, since five authors collaborate on a single plot throughout the six volumes. All the volumes are available from Amazon.

Tracy Krauss, Canadian author, artist, and playwright says, “Author Ruth Snyder does a wonderful job of ‘wrapping it up’ in this installment to the series. There were lots of loose ends and they come together naturally and with the right amount of believability. It was romantic without being over the top.” Snyder likes a good clean love story and aims to give her readers an enjoyable read. Snyder says, “There’s a lot of negativity about love and marriage these days. I hope my writing gives people a realistic and positive picture of true love.”

Shadows and Sunshine cover

In Shadows and Sunshine, Heather and her crew are determined to pull off the wedding of the year for their high profile client. The stakes have never been higher—this single event could make or break the business. The venue is set, decorations are ordered, and the menu is one-of-a kind. Two days before the event, one thing after another goes wrong. Mario knew he should have made back-up plans, but he didn’t. Bryan thought his past was behind him, but it reappears at the worst possible moment. Heather is forced to deal with personal issues while responding to the challenges of running a business. Does the wedding planner team have the resources and creativity to bounce back and pull off the perfect event?

Ruth L. Snyder has had articles published in Testimony, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and FellowScript magazine. This is her second novella. She is working on a Twitter manual for writers and her first full-length novel, Olga’s Discovery. Ruth is a member of The Word Guild and The Christian PEN. She is currently serving as President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Guest Post – Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July by Joseph M. Lewis

John Hancock Cover

Imagine how the signers of The Declaration of Independence feel while looking down from heaven and listening to their critics. The thought never occurred to me until my publisher asked me to write a fictional short story relating how John Hancock experienced the 4th of July. Before starting, I read Herbert S. Allan’s even-handed biography of Hancock. Yes, the Founders were all human – Hancock was vain and a clothes horse, for example. But when you study the founding of America from the perspective of a Founder, the greatness of these men staggers you.

“But they didn’t free the slaves and women and blacks couldn’t vote!”

Guess what? No one could meaningfully vote and everyone, everywhere, was in some form of bondage. The English themselves were “subjects.” Except for royalty and a small number of men in a handful of tiny Greek city states, no one had ever controlled their destiny.

Writing in the first person forces you to see things through the eyes of the character or historic figure, to imagine what they felt, wanted and thought. The Founders were operating in uncharted waters, laying the foundation to free all mankind and making things up as they went. They were doing it while at war with the most powerful Empire on the face of the planet. On January 1, 1776, George Washington discovered he had only 8,000 enlistments instead of the 20,000 planned. Georgia and South Carolina announced they would not sign if slavery were denounced, let alone outlawed.

As I imagine Hancock saying, “The hard truth is we will not free the Negro slaves . . . not because we don’t want to, but because we can’t. The southerners would revolt . . . freeing the black man will require a war and the forces of liberty are barely able to fight one war, let alone two.”

On July 4, 1776, the Founders were almost to a man well educated, affluent and doing quite well as subjects of Britain. In the 18th century, traitors were hung from a gibbet with their hands tied behind their back. Rather than breaking their necks, the traitor took about ten minutes to strangle to death. Traitors’ property was forfeit, so their families were left impoverished. While the Founders were signing their own death warrant, Benedict Arnold was trying to keep his army from disintegrating as he retreated from the disastrous Canadian campaign. “I have often thought how much happier I would have been,” said Washington, “if, instead of accepting a command under such circumstances, I had taken up musket on my shoulder and entered the ranks.”

They were great men, yet consider the petulance with which they are treated. While reviewing “The Price they Paid” email about the Founders, the left wing site “Snopes” called it part true, part false. Why? Here’s an example: “Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.” Snopes – “yeah, well . . . she was already sick.” Seriously. I paraphrase, so check it out for yourselves. Part of the disdain appears to be petty racism, sexism and anti-Christianity – the Founders were white male Christians – but there may be something deeper. Writing about an attack on the Framers, Professor Walter Williams wrote, “If I believed in conspiracies, I’d say (Time’s) article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.”

Hancock might have said, “No doubt, those who hate liberty and embrace hate amongst the races will use this against us not only now, but far into the future. We can only trust this and future generations will be wise enough to detect the charlatan, understand his aim and reject his deception. That battle is for another time, and will be fought by other men. We must fight the one in front of us now.”

This is a column of opinion and satire. The author knows of no undisclosed facts. Contact Lewis, the author of John Hancock, in Remington Colt’s Revolutionary War Series, visit him at and click on Rimersburg Rules. © Joseph M. Lewis

 Declaration of Independence paperback cover

The Amazon Kindle link to “John Hancock” is:


To link to listen in on the blogtalk radio show with Joseph Max Lewis discussing “The Declaration of Independence”:


To stop by Mr. Lewis’ website and connect with him:

Shadows and Sunshine cover

Shadows and Sunshine – Release date July 3, 2014

Shadows and Sunshine cover

It’s almost here! Shadows and Sunshine, Volume 6 of the San Francisco Wedding Planner series is scheduled to be released on Amazon Kindle on Thursday, July 3rd.

Here’s a teaser from chapter 5:

“Heather, call on line one. Some top brass from the city office. Claims he needs to speak to you A.S.A.P.”

“Thanks, Raul.”

She punched line one. “Good morning, Donovan Wedding Service. This is Heather. How may I help you?”

“Good Morning. My name is Alberto Cordozo from the City of San Francisco planning department. I’m afraid I have bad news for you.”


“Your building happens to be zoned for housing only. I understand you are running a wedding planning business there?”

“Yes I am. But hold on. When I purchased the property the realtor assured me there was no issue with having a business here. I buy my license at the city office every year and no one has ever expressed any concern.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. We are doing our five-year audit of buildings and making sure they adhere to the local zoning bylaws. You’re going to have to find another place to operate your business.”

Heather tapped her pen against her desk. “Isn’t that convenient.” She forced herself to stay calm. “I’m assuming I have some options?”

“Well, your options are basically either to move within a month’s time or be forcibly evicted. I’m assuming you’d rather stay in business, so I’m advising you to put your current residence up for sale and find a building that is zoned appropriately. We’ll give you a month to sort everything out.”

“That’s so kind of you.” The retort slipped out before she could stop herself.

“I understand your frustration, Madam. We do try to be as supportive as possible. According to law, we could evict you tomorrow. Instead we’re giving you a month of grace. We realize businesses have many logistics they need to work out and those all take time. I’m assuming you have my phone number in case you have questions during the process of your move?”

“Yes, I have your number. Good day, Mr. Cordozo.” She slammed the receiver down and shoved herself away from her desk. One back wheel caught on the throw rug and her chair tipped over backwards. She found herself stuck in her chair with her feet jutting straight up in the air. She rubbed her head where it had struck the floor.

“Brilliant, Heather. Just brilliant.”

“Oh girlfriend,” Raul called from around the corner. “Someone tall and handsome is here to see you.”

She looked up to see Raul and Bryan sauntering through the door. Yikes, just what she didn’t need. At least she had pants on.

Raul came running around her desk. “You okay, girlfriend?”

“I’m fine. Really. No problems in my life whatsoever. And of course, I always do business with my feet in the air and my head on the floor. No need to worry boys.”

Bryan offered her a hand up. She ignored him and tried to get out of the chair, but it didn’t work. She was stuck upside down in the chair.

Raul glanced back and forth between them with a puzzled expression on his face. He extended his hand to her and she grabbed it. He pulled her up and set her on her feet.

“Yup. No problems at all. I just have the most important event of my career happening tomorrow and there’s no fresh organic produce in sight. Malfunction of a cooler, apparently. Also, that top brass from the city you put through on line one? He phoned to inform me this building is legally zoned as a house and only a house. I can no longer run my business here. Oh, but he’s going to be nice about it and give me a month to relocate to a building that is zoned for business.”

“Is there something else I need to know about?” Raul looked at his brother and then turned his attention back to Heather.

“Oh no. Things between your brother and me are just honky dory. Yup. Couldn’t be better.”

“Come on, stop playing games with me, Heather.” He turned to his brother. “What’s going on?”

“Jocelyn is in town.”

“What? You’re kidding, right? Not the Jocelyn who broke your heart. Couldn’t be.”

Bryan hung his head. “That’s the one.” It came out as a whisper.

“Well tell her to get lost. You’ve moved on, right? I mean give your head a shake, Bro. You can have Jocelyn or your can have Heather, not both. Hands down I know who I’d pick, and her name does not begin with J.” He jabbed Bryan’s chest in the shape of the letter J. “I’m leaving now so you can sort this out with Heather. Don’t mess this up, or you’ll have to answer to me.”